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Cleaning out spark-plug recesses


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Car was running like a dog when I took it out for a few miles of pre-mot shakedown. This is a k-series that lives outside (the Westie lives in the garage, lucky blighter).


Sho'nuff, when I got it back home, I found that the two cylinders that have the coil-packs were basically full of water and the leads were very corroded. I've removed as much liquid as possible by smoking it up with paper towel - and cleaned up the tips of the leads on those two cylinders. Engine now runs much more smoothly and should get me to the mot ok.


I have resisted the temptation to remove the plugs as there is still a small amount of moisture - and a fair bit of grot. My fault for leaving the spark-plug cover off, I guess.


Other than asking my friendly mot man to give me a good squirt of air down the recesses, is there anything else I can usefully do to reduce the likelihood of getting rubbish in the engine when I take the sparks out? Or am I being too cautious - will the grot just get ejected through the exhaust on first firing?

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Thanks mike - the water isn't an issue any more - and the run to the mot should defo sort any residual moisture.


I'll ask my mot man if there's a handy air line - they are very accommodating.

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Good point though, I sometimes have concerns about removing plugs, is there any debris down there that could get into precious cylinders?


Surely I could come up with a vacuum equipped plug socket, shove it on, press the tit, and hey presto, a clean plug cavity before unscrewing it.



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Quoting 10uptobase: 
I have some 1/2" plastic tube that I gaffer tape to the end of the hoover hose. Sounds like a mongoose being strangled, but works well at getting debris our before removing the plugs...


pmsl. How do you know?


Airline is the best way. Watch your eyes

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, I need to get this sorted as the car is idling with mirror-wobbling vibration and the exhaust pops quite a bit on overrun - and is quite sooty. I need the plugs out as one of the diagnostic steps.


I can pick up a £100 Aldi-alike kit from screwfix with the usual 5-piece starter kit of tools - which would undoubtedly solve my spark plug issue, but maybe nothing else. There is a suggestion that the fittings might not be the usual 1/4 BSP either, so further expansion could be a pain. The output of this unit is not clear either.


Alternatively, I could look at one of the Machine Mart jobs - starting with either an oiled or oil-free 24litre version. Trouble is, beyond my immediate requirements, I'm not sure what future jobs I'd want it for - only thing that springs to mind is the possibility of stripping and rebuilding the chassis over the winter - for which a riveter might be nice (but they ain't cheap either...)


What to do?


Canned air is still an option, but seems expensive for a consumable...

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Yep - I've always had a poor seal on the collector - the point is that the popping is much more noticeable than it used to be - and when you add in the sooty exhaust etc., it's time to look further up the line.


Regardless of the condition of the exhaust (I quite like the pops -it's just that they have signalled a change recently), the plugs do need to come out...

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